“Your attitude should be the same as that as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
This section of scripture is almost universally called the Philippian Hymn. This hymn refers to Jesus in the most exalted position possible, “God”. It then contrasts this with the lowest position possible, “servant”. Jesus did not consider His exalted position of God as something to be held onto, but emptied Himself of His rights and privileges as God (He humbled Himself).
While it is indeed sad that many people will never acknowledge that Jesus is “Lord” in this life, this passage assures us that there will come a day when everyone, even those in hell will realize who He is and bow to Him. This Philippian Hymn has taken our Lord from exaltation (verse 6) to humiliation (verses 7-8) and back to exaltation (verses 9-11).
I John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is, Jesus laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Now that takes humility on our part, and we know it’s hard to be humble.
Remember Mack Davis, the country western song writer, singer and T.V. star? He wrote the song “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble”. Here are the words:
Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way.
I can’t stop looking in the mirror
‘Cause I get better looking each day.
To know me is to love me,
I must be a heck of a man.
Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble,
But I’m doing the best that I can.
The Word of God tells us to humble ourselves before the Lord, and He will lift us up. True humility is when you esteem others above yourselves, and our Lord was willing to humble Himself. He is our good example of true humility. Remember the words of Mark Twain who wrote: “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Perhaps the thing most annoying about a good example is its inability to accomplish the same achievements in our lives. Admiration for a good example (person) can inspire us, but it cannot enable us. Now unless the person we admire can enter in our lives and share his skills, we cannot attain to his heights of accomplishment. It takes more than a good example on the outside; it takes power on the inside.
Well there it is. It takes power on the inside which ties into our text just after the Philippian Hymn, Philippians 2:12-13 with special emphasis on Verse 13.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear
and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purposes.”
Verse 13 magnifies the mystery of our faith, “Christ in us the hope of glory”. Colossians 1:27.
Today’s prayer: Jesus, come and be my humility, come and be in me everything I am not, for apart from You, I can do nothing. I put my faith in You and You alone. Thank you, Lord.
Without faith it’s impossible to please God. Christianity is not a self-improvement, it’s a self-replacement. He does it all and gets all the glory. As one author wrote in the book entitled “The Naked Gospel” by Andrew Farley: “If we get life from the Spirit, then we’re not designed to live by the Jewish law, religious rules, a moral code, or even Christian “principles”. Receiving and transmitting Christ’s life is superior to them all.”
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
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